Participatory Rural Appraisal

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Kristin Muthui

Module APAM02-K: Participatory Rural Appraisal

Assignment 1: Explain:
Meaning of development Participatory project management Qualitative versus quantitative research Participatory action research

Semester 1 Due date: 12 March 2013

Contents

I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII.

Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 3 The meaning of development ............................................................................................ 4 Participatory project management................................................................................. 5 Qualitative vs Quantitative Research ............................................................................. 7 Participatory Action Research ............................................................................................ 9 Conclusion ..................................................................................................................... 10 References .................................................................................................................... 11

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I.

Introduction

Historically, development efforts have been initiated by external parties who work with a community for a given period of time to improve their living conditions. Starting in the late 1940s, the concept of involving local communities in development efforts began taking root, flourishing in the 1950s and 1960s, with the role of the community worker gaining significance. Initially, the definition of development was strongly linked to economic capability, using indicators such as GDP and GNP to measure quality of life and poverty levels. Over time, the idea of development evolved, recognizing the need for people to be self-reliant and have the freedom to live their lives as they wish. This is the idea of human development, which considers empowerment and well-being as its main goal. The concept of participatory project management and action research make a good fit with human development, as they are management and research methods that put the community at the center of the project or research, in order to identify and work on priorities that are important to the local community. In this context, this paper will briefly discuss development, research methods, and participatory project management and action research.

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II.

The meaning of development

Development is defined as a change, growth or improvement over time. (Macmillian Dictionary) In community development and project management, development is a broad term that encompasses efforts to improve human welfare, quality of life and social wellbeing, satisfying their basic needs and wants. For most of the 20th century, development was focused mainly on economic growth and indicators, but slowly shifted to a view that recognized the value of the humans involved in the development, placing their development and fulfillment at the forefront of development efforts. The South Commission defines development as: A process which enables human beings to realize their potential, build self-confidence, and lead lives of dignity and fulfilment. It is a process which frees people from fear of want and exploitation. It is a movement away from political, economic, or social oppression. Through development, political independence acquires true significance. And it is a process of growth, a movement essentially springing from within the society that is developing. (The South Commission, 1990: 11) Taking it a step further is the idea of human development, which recognizes that humans are valuable in themselves, and therefore development is the process of increasing the number of opportunities available to people as well as their capabilities, for them to live a creative and productive life according to their needs and wants. (Sen, 2008) Today, development is viewed as the process of...
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